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Hyperloop Could Be ‘Vein’ That Gets SouthCoast Pumping

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

We live in a world where information travels to us at the speed of light, but soon, people could be traveling at just about the speed of sound.

The proposed Hyperloop system that would connect Boston to Providence with a SouthCoast stop in Somerset could become a reality within the next four years.

Holly McNamara of Hyperloop Massachusetts appeared on WBSM to discuss it, and told Brian Thomas that the solar-powered, jet-propulsion technology will give people the opportunity to come and live on the SouthCoast and still work in Boston. But she also sees it as a way to connect the people of the SouthCoast with the Hub.

“I see it as a vein of blood,” she said. “It’s like bringing one vein of blood from the heartbeat of the state to these areas that need it again.”

Hyperloop Massachusetts is the shortest of 11 proposed routes in the United States. There are 35 worldwide proposals being considered by the developer, Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One. McNamara and her team will find out next month if they move on to the final round of 12, with three winners to be selected this summer in the hopes of having those routes built and operational by 2021.

Making the final three would mean Hyperloop One would conduct a feasibility study. McNamara said it’s too soon to know the exact building costs right now, but it’s been estimated at about two-thirds the costs of high-speed rail.

“The biggest factor being that high-speed rail requires electricity along the entire length, whereas Hyperloop only needs it at either end,” she said. “So that cuts back on a significant amount of cost.”

She also said traveling on the Hyperloop would likely cost about as much as a bus ticket to the location.

Another key factor is that the Hyperloop would fit into the existing landscape of the region.

“It’s a small structure. It can fit on the shoulder of a highway, it can go underground, it can go underwater,” she said. “(There’s) barely any noise because it’s all contained, (has) no emissions so it’s environmentally friendly. The ‘not in my backyard’ issues almost go away.”

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